The asana we will describe in this topic is called yoga mudrasana. Though it is known as a mudra, it is really best described as an asana. In a sense, it is a combination of paschimottanasana and padmasana. Those people who can sit in padmasana will have little difficulty in doing yoga mudrasana. Others however, who still find it difficult if not impossible to sit in padmasana, even though they have been practising earnestly and regularly for some time, will not be able to do the full form of yoga mudrasana at this stage. Instead, you should try the simpler alternative method done in ardha padmasana, that is described at the end of this topic. Furthermore, you should spend more time practising the premeditative exercises, in order to eventually master padmasana and yoga mudrasana.
Many of the people who can sit in padmasana will not be able to do so for more than a few minutes without extreme discomfort. Yoga mudrasana is an excellent practice for further loosening up the knees and the hip joints and thereby allowing you to sit in padmasana as well as other meditative sitting poses, for prolonged periods of time. This is most important in order to gain the most out of meditational practices in general, and kriya yoga in the future. It is essential in order to be able to forget the body and to be able to introspect. It is impossible to introspect or even think about doing meditational practices if your attention is overwhelmed by pain in the legs. Yoga mudrasana is useful for overcoming this initial hurdle, as well as helping to promote the right mental attitude.